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Georgia Paralegal Schools

The Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta metropolitan area has one of the highest employment levels for paralegals in the country.1 Aspiring paralegals can enter the job market well-prepared from a paralegal degree or certificate program, and Georgia has several programs from which to choose. There are courses offered on college campuses and online for two- and four-year degrees as well as certificate programs. Having the necessary skills and knowledge from a paralegal degree can lead to lucrative and fulfilling job prospects in Georgia and surrounding states.

How to Become a Paralegal in Georgia

There are no specific educational requirements set by law to become a paralegal in Georgia; however, the Georgia Association of Paralegals recommends (and most employers prefer) that new paralegal candidates possess at least an associate degree in paralegal studies. Paralegals in Georgia must work under the supervision of a lawyer, and are not permitted to provide legal advice directly to the public. A program approved by the American Bar Association that holds regional accreditation is a strong starting point for this career. Additionally, many Georgia paralegal schools offer internship opportunities that provide real-world experience, allowing the intern to network and explore job prospects.

Georgia Paralegal Salary and Job Outlook

The prospects for a well-qualified paralegal in Georgia are strong. As of 2015, there were over 7,700 paralegals employed in Georgia, with an average annual income of $53,830.1 Projections Central estimates that paralegals will see 11.9% jobs growth in Georgia through 2024.2 This is higher than the national average of 8% for the same time period.3

Profiles of Well-Known Schools in Georgia

Emory University: Emory University’s Continuing Education (ECE) Department in Atlanta offers a post-baccalaureate paralegal certificate program for college graduates. Emory boasts the state of Georgia’s longest-running post-graduate paralegal program, which has been in existence since 2005 and has seen over 1,000 graduates. The coursework for the paralegal certificate program is all taught by licensed attorneys, who bring real-world experience into the classroom. Coursework totals over 100 classroom hours, with flexible scheduling on weekdays, evenings, and Saturdays. The program also offers career placement assistance and access to local law firms and other potential employers. Courses include Civil Litigation, Contract Law, Bankruptcy Law, Intellectual Property, and Torts & Personal Injury Law.

University of North Georgia: The University of North Georgia offers an ABA-approved Bachelor of Applied Science (BAS) in Paralegal Studies, an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies, and a Paralegal Studies Certificate. The BAS degree is designed for students who already hold an AAS degree, ideally the AAS degree from UNG. The BAS is a four-year degree and the AAS is a two-year degree. The BAS includes courses such as Applications in Business Law and Technology, Data and Information Systems, Legal Research and Writing, and Interviewing and Investigating Techniques. Electives include Survey of Legal Environment of Business, Entertainment Law, Principles of Finance, and Principles of Marketing.

Augusta Technical College – Augusta: Augusta Technical College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Paralegal Studies. The program helps students develop academic, technical, and professional skills relating to paralegal work. Students learn how to write effective legal documents; understand substantive areas of law including family law, real property law, and criminal law; and follow ethical guidelines. Core courses in the program, which requires 69 credit hours to complete, include Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure; Tort Law; Law Office Management; and a paralegal internship. Graduates are prepared for entry-level work in a variety of settings including government agencies, law firms, and corporations.

Top Law Firms for Paralegal Graduates in Georgia

Stites & Harbison PLLC is a prestigious firm that does business across the Southeast. The firm traces its foundation back to 1832, and its attorneys and staff are nationally recognized as being among the top lawyers in their fields. Stites & Harbison continually seeks out accomplished paralegals to join its firm. Oliver Maner LLP has over 100 years of history and is committed to professional, ethical service. Based in Savannah, Oliver Maner is now one of the largest law firms in Southeast Georgia. Its attorneys have been recognized by such publications as Best Lawyers in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Atlanta Magazine’s Super Lawyer. Jones Cork, LLP is a forward-looking law firm that continually adapts to meet client needs. It recognizes the contribution of paralegals to its practice and rewards its paralegal staff with an excellent benefits package.

Not-for-Profit Paralegal Schools and Programs in Georgia

An asterisk indicates that one or more of the school’s programs have been approved by the American Bar Association (ABA).

Athens Technical College (Athens)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Atlanta Technical College (Atlanta)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Augusta Technical College (Augusta)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Central Georgia Technical College (Warner Robins)
Associate of Applied Technology | Paralegal Studies
Diploma | Paralegal Studies
Technical Certificate | Legal Administrative Assistant
Technical Certificate | Legal Issues for Criminal Justice
Certificate | Advanced Legal Assistant

Clayton State University (Morrow)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Science | Legal Studies
Minor | Legal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal

Darton College (Albany)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies (online)
Bachelor of Arts | Legal Assistant Studies (online)
Certificate | Paralegal Studies (online)

Georgia Piedmont Technical College (Clarkston; Covington)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Savannah Technical College (Savannah, GA)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies

Southern Crescent Technical College (Griffin)
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Diploma | Paralegal Studies
Technical Certificate | Paralegal Fundamentals

University of North Georgia (Oakwood)*
Associate of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Bachelor of Applied Science | Paralegal Studies
Certificate | Paralegal

*Approved by the American Bar Association (ABA)

Additional Resources

  • Georgia Association of Paralegals – Endeavors to advance the paralegal profession and the expertise of its members through networking, continuing education opportunities, and strong relationships with business partners.
  • State Bar of Georgia – Exists to foster the principles of duty, serve the public, improve the administration of justice, and to advance the science of law.

References:
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes232011.htm
2. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook, Paralegals and Legal Assistants: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/legal/paralegals-and-legal-assistants.htm